Attitudes to dental care, Sweden 2003-2013, and clinical correlates of oral health-related quality of life in 2013

Int J Dent Hyg. 2018 May;16(2):257-266. doi: 10.1111/idh.12269. Epub 2017 Jan 30.


Objective: To investigate attitudes to dental care, and to assess possible associations with socio-economic and clinical variables over a period of ten years, and to investigate the association between OHRQoL assessed by oral impact on daily performance (OIDP), and socio-economic, dental care habits, smoking and oral status.

Materials and methods: Cross-sectional studies performed in the county of Dalarna, Sweden, in 2003, 2008 and 2013. Random samples of 1,107-1,115 dentate individuals, aged 30-85 years, who answered a questionnaire and who were radiographically and clinically examined were included.

Results: The importance of preventive treatment, regular recalls and meeting the same caregiver as on previous visits became less important. In individuals with alveolar bone loss, meeting the same caregiver as on previous visits was important (P<.05). In individuals with manifest caries, information on treatment cost was important, while prevention became less important (P<.05). OIDP was reported by 31% of the individuals in the study, and frequent impact was reported by 10%. Individuals with manifest caries lesions, less than 20 remaining teeth, and temporomandibular disorders (TMD) reported OIDP to a significantly higher degree, compared to orally healthy individuals.

Conclusion: Attitudes important in maintaining and improving good oral health, such as preventive care and regular recalls to dentistry, became less important during this period of 10 years. Oral impact was found to be associated with irregular dental visits and limited economy for dental care, individuals with less than 20 remaining teeth, TMD and manifest caries.

Keywords: dental caries; epidemiology; oral health-related quality of life; socio-behavioural; socio-economic; tobacco.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dental Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oral Health*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden